Ukraine: Call for action on 20th anniversary of murder of journalist Georgiy Gongadze

On September 17, 2000, Georgiy Gongadze, well-known Ukrainian journalist and founder of popular Ukrainian online newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda, was murdered. His decapitated body was found on November 2, 2000, about 100 km from Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv. Georgiy’s murder is considered by many to be the most important crime against a journalist in the history of independent Ukraine because the state’s highest leaders were involved in it. Concretely, the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The perpetrator, Oleksiy Pukach, a former general and high-ranking official of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, is currently serving a jail sentence for…

UNESCO sounds the alarm on surge in attacks against journalists covering protests

A new UNESCO report highlights a sharp increase in the global number of protests during which the police and security forces violated media freedom in the first half of 2020, including in Europe. The annual report of the Council of Europe Platform for the Protection of Journalism drew the same conclusions in April, reporting numerous cases of violence in France, United Kingdom, Spain, Turkey, Albania, Azerbaijan and Russia. UNESCO’s new report, Safety of Journalists Covering Protests – Preserving Freedom of the Press During Times of Civil Unrest, points to a wider upward trend in the use of unlawful force by police…

EFJ calls on States to implement OSCE Decision on Safety of Journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) was invited today to introduce the working session on freedom of the media at the OSCE 2nd Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting (SHDM). The EFJ called on the OSCE Participating States to fully implement the 2018 Ministerial Council Decision for the safety of journalists. “Hundreds of media outlets are under threat, starting with local media, which are simply in danger of disappearing for lack of financial support. Tens of thousands of journalists have been put on temporary unemployment. And tens of thousands of independent journalists have been deprived of any income for the past three…

EFJ condemns discrediting of journalists by Slovenian PM

The Slovenian Prime Minister, Janez Janša, published on 11 May, in the government’s official website, a story about his so-called “war with the media”. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its Slovenian affiliates, the Slovenian Association of Journalists (DNS) and the Union of Slovenian Journalists (SNS), in condemning this despicable attempt to discredit journalists. Janez Janša blames in his text the journalists in general: “The professional group in western civilisation that first declared itself the seventh power, then the fourth (unelected) branch of power and finally the moral judge of political correctness, is increasingly difficult to recognise today as…

EFJ condemns Loyalist threats against journalists in Northern Ireland

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the UK and Ireland in condemning as “vile” a threat issued to journalists by the South East Antrim Ulster Defence Association (UDA), in Northern Ireland. The dissident loyalist group’s threat was made against journalists at the Belfast-based Sunday World and Sunday Life newspapers. The threat is being taken seriously by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and by the media company. The warnings came in the early hours of 8 May 2020. The PSNI is taking the threat seriously and officers have been in contact…

WPFD: Journalists have never before been subjected to as much violence and abusive treatment

Journalists in Europe have never before been subjected to as much violence and abusive treatment. Listen to our messages on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day. Ricardo Gutiérrez, EFJ General Secretary:   Renate Schroeder, EFJ Director: WPFD-BJV-1   Read also the Annual Report of the Council of Europe Platform For the Protection of Journalism and the Safety of Journalists and other Media Actors. #WorldPressFreedomDay #WPFD2020 #WPFD #EuropeForFreeMedia

CoE Secretary General calls on governments to protect the essential role of journalists in times of crisis

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes today’s statements by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, and by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, ahead of World Press Freedom Day on 3 May. In a statement issued today, Marija Pejčinović Burić calls on governments to protect the essential role of journalists in democracy, especially in times of crisis, and to avoid unduly restricting media freedom during the pandemic: “Governments are facing unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 crisis, but the situation must not be used to silence or hinder journalists,” said the Secretary…

2020 Annual Report: Attacks on media in Europe must not become a new normal

Launch of the 2020 Annual Report by the partner organisations to the Council of Europe Platform to Promote the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists Attacks on press freedom in Europe are at serious risk of becoming a new normal, 14 international press freedom groups and journalists’ organisations, including the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), warn today as they launch the 2020 annual report of the Council of Europe Platform for the Protection of Journalists. The fresh assault on media freedom amid the Covid-19 pandemic has worsened an already gloomy outlook. The report analyses alerts submitted to the Platform…

Launch Event of the 2020 #CoEMediaFreedom Report

Speakers: Sarah Clarke – Head of the Europe and Central Asia team – Article 19 Scott Griffen – Deputy Director –International Press Institute William Horsley – Media Freedom Representative – Association of European Journalists Ricardo Gutierrez – General Secretary – European Federation of Journalists  Moderator: Tom Gibson – European Union Representative & Advocacy Manager – Committee to Protect Journalists 

Turkey must end public ad ban on independent newspapers

Today, the International Press Institute (IPI), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS), Reporters without Borders (RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), called for an immediate end to the ban on public advertising on the two independent newspapers Evrensel and BirGün. Both newspapers are part of a shrinking club of media that have stubbornly resisted pressure to curb their independent journalism and readiness to criticize the authorities. Since September they have been subjected to indefinite bans imposed by BIK (Basin Ilan Kurumu), the agency responsible for the distribution of the state advertising budget.…

George Foulkes: “A free media is as important to democracy as regular elections”

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes Council of Europe Rapporteur on media freedom George Foulkes‘ call for better protection for journalists in Europe. Over the past two years, George Foulkes, who is a British Labour Co-operative politician and former Scotland minister, has been investigating this issue as General Rapporteur on media freedom and the safety of journalists for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (Pace). His report points out that the Council of Europe Platform for the Protection of Journalism shows that the situation is getting worse in Europe. From 2015 to date, 26 journalists have been…

The arbitrary detention of Julian Assange set a dangerous precedent for journalists

Julian Assange, publisher of Wikileaks, is currently detained in Belmarsh high-security prison in the United Kingdom. He faces extradition to the United States and criminal prosecution under the US Espionage Act. He has been charged for publishing the Afghanistan and Iraq war diaries and US embassy cables, important documents that many journalists around the world used and helped to publicise. The “War Diaries” provided evidence that the US Government misled the public about activities in Afghanistan and Iraq and committed war crimes. “We believe that the arbitrary detention and criminal prosecution of Julian Assange set an extremely dangerous precedent for…

EFJ mourns two killed journalists in Europe in 2019

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has recorded 49 killings of journalists and media professionals in 2019, including two in Europe, a significant drop from 95 posted last year. The IFJ says that, while the apparent decreasing bloodbath in the journalists’ community is a welcome relief, the spread of killings and the motives behind the killings are sobering reminders that violence against journalists is still rampant and the failure to combat impunity for these attacks remain a damning indictment on those in power. The IFJ lists 18 countries from the four corners of the world where journalist were killed since…